It’s a beautiful fall day. The leaves are changing, the temperature is cooling down to that perfect level and the sun feels just right in the middle of the day. I walk home from campus and appreciate the beautiful days that fall upon us in the autumn season. I am also very grateful that no one is trying to take a bite out of me on my walk home.
The changing of the seasons has become a signpost for television fans, as every October, “The Walking Dead” returns to our screens every Sunday. Unlike me on my walk home from campus, the characters on “The Walking Dead” are not nearly as lucky. Someone is constantly trying to have them for lunch. The wildly popular zombie-drama (zomba?) show has returned for its fourth season and is scheduled for AMC’s 9 p.m. time slot, filling the giant hole in my heart that was brought forth after the series finale of “Breaking Bad.”
The third season ended with a bang as the tension between Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and our band of heroes finally came to a head against the Governor (David Morrisey). There was a large shootout where the Governor and his cronies attacked the prison Rick and company had been holding up at. The Governor ended up in retreat and his whereabouts are unknown, while Rick was left to pick up the pieces and take on all the citizens of the Governor’s town.
The show has developed a reputation of a quickly changing pace. Things will seemingly be going fine and people will be living relatively normal lives during the zombie apocalypse, but of course, danger is around every corner. One minute they will be sitting by a campfire telling stories of their old lives, the next, your favorite character has been bitten and cursed to a fate that can only end in tragic death. Typically, when I talk to people who do not watch the show, they say, “isn’t it that zombie show?” But really, it is much deeper than that. It takes a close look at how human beings handle the extreme scenarios of stress, tragedy and Darwinism. The characters are pushed to the limits of what the human soul can handle. Every episode is a struggle of morals and a battle to maintain humanity in a world where the human is clearly no longer the most dangerous force on the earth.
The fourth season will start with a much larger crowd of people in a prison with limited space, scarce resources, and nothing but a few fences separating them from a simulated return to normalcy, and the gruesome world of demonic creatures that have become the new status-quo. All the while this is going on; the evil Governor is still out there, somewhere. The prison has been home to the group for a while now, but following the first episode of the season, it is no longer safe. It could be something in the soil, as my roommate speculated, it could be something in the air, or it could be one unfortunate boy that got sick. But, it is clear that the prison is no longer safe.
In a chilling scene in the first episode, Beth (Emily Kinney) is informed of the death of her boyfriend and she replies “I don’t feel sad anymore.” The amount of loss the group has experienced seems commonplace now, and mourning has been replaced by a routine feeling of indifference.
There are sure to be challenges and moral struggles to follow, but one thing is for sure, the emotional roller-coaster of “The Walking Dead” is back, and this viewer could not be more excited for the ride.
Chris Black is a third-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at CB767056@wcupa.edu.